Julie A Swartzendruber, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Downers Grove, IL

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Dr. Julie Swartzendruber earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2013 where she studied the role of histamine 2 receptor in allergic lung inflammation.  She continued her training as a post-doctoral fellow at Loyola University of Chicago, studying the role of the probiotic Bacillus subtilis in suppressing allergic airway disease.  Dr. Swartzendruber came to Midwestern University in 2015 and her research laboratory continues to study the role of Bacillus subtilis to suppress allergic disease. 

Associate Professor

Downers Grove, IL

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Health Sciences - IL
College of Graduate Studies - IL
College of Dental Medicine-Illinois
Chicago College of Optometry

Microbiology & Immunology

Dental Medicine
Osteopathic Medicine
Physician Assistant Studies

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Northwestern University | 2013 | Ph.D.
Wartburg College | 2007 | B.A.

Courses Taught

CHS - MICRD 0582 (Infectious Diseases)

CCO - MICRD 1582 (Microbiology)



There is growing evidence that exposure to microorganisms can influence tolerance to allergens (i.e. hygiene hypothesis).  My lab is studying the role of the commensal bacterium Bacillus subtilis in protection from allergic disease and the mechanism.  We have used B. subtilis to establish that it can prevent allergic inflammation induced by house dust mite.  We are working to understand the mechanism of this immune suppression. This work will be important for improving therapies that are currently limited to treating and not preventing, as well as provide evidence for the increasing prevalence of allergic disease.


Swartzendruber, J.A., Incrocci, R.W., Wolf, S.A.*, Jung A.*, Knight K.L. Bacillus subtilis exopolysaccharide prevents allergic eosinophilia.  Allergy (2019). Apr;74(4): 819-821. PMID: 30456900

*Denotes students mentored by Dr. Swartzendruber.